Maybe we can chalk this up to post-Parkland hysteria or maybe we can’t. But a new poll indicates that 64 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 support tougher gun laws.
As it specifically relates to black rifles, what gun-grabbers call “assault weapons,” 58 percent of voters under 30 support a ban, according to a survey conducted by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.
Only five years ago, support for a black rifle ban amongst that same demographic was at 41 percent. And that was in 2013, on the heels of the high-profile mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
“For several years, the opinions of young Democrats, Republicans and independents have been steadily shifting toward greater support for gun control measures,” said John Della Volpe, the institute’s polling director, in an interview with the Washington Post.
“The difference today is that the Parkland students have created an environment where the lack of progress on reducing gun violence is now symbolic of all the ills plaguing Washington, D.C.,” he continued.
The poll was conducted back in March. Over 2,600 young adults were surveyed and the results are said to have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
I checked Gallup to see if it had similar findings. But the last time it polled the public on the question of “assault weapons” was back in October. Days after a psycho shot up a country music concert in Las Vegas, killing 58 and wounding hundreds more.
Gallup’s results indicated a 50/50 split. Approximately half support the ban and half opposed. But that metric reflects all respondents, not just those under 30. Still, one would think that it might be higher given the wave of anti-gun sentiment that pervades the airwaves following a national tragedy like Vegas.
So, what gives? Why was Parkland more impactful? Well, it certainly had more staying power in the public consciousness when compared to other tragedies. No doubt that was a result of non-stop media coverage and protests funded by Michael Bloomberg and other elites.
The CNN graph below shows Google searches of gun control after mass killings. You’ll notice that the Parkland peaks (in purple) are higher than many of the others listed.
Are we seeing a real shift in opinion on modern sporting rifles, particularly amongst millennials? Probably too early to tell. We’ll need more data from other reputable pollsters to make a real determination. Yet, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t unnerved by the results of the Harvard poll.